An ordinance proposed last week by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot would remove one barrier to fulfilling a campaign promise she made to release an exhaustive report into the shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke, but barriers to releasing the report remain and Lightfoot refuses to provide information on how she plans to deal with those obstacles.
The report, by Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson, details his office’s investigation of the now infamous shooting. The report was the basis for his recommendation that 11 officers be fired, and he has said that the public still doesn’t know the “the full story” about the shooting’s aftermath. Feguson has been advocating for the city to publicly release his report.
WBEZ submitted a records request for the report, but Lightfoot’s administration denied the request, citing multiple legal reasons.
On Wednesday, Lightfoot proposed a city ordinance that would change the municipal code that keeps such reports confidential. If that ordinance passes, it would remove a roadblock her administration cited in denying WBEZ’s request for the report. But the city’s denial also said state law and a decorum order in the now completed criminal case against Van Dyke prohibit its release.
In a statement, Lightfoot’s office said, “the changes to the municipal code that are now being considered by City Council are the first step, and we are evaluating all options for fulfilling our pledge to making records like these fully available to the public.” But her office would not get into the details about what actions, if any, they were taking.